The grandeur is still in Rome, the glory still in The Vatican
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - October 21, 2019 - 12:00am

VIA AURELIA ANTICA, Rome – This is the third time I have set foot on this holy and most famous city in the world, first in 1998, then 2003, and now in 2019 with family and friends.

Rome never ceases to surprise me. How did this city built by Romulus and Remus ever become known as “Caput Mundi” or capital of the world? Rome is 28 centuries old, and was said to have been founded in 753 BC. It is often called as Urbs Aeterna or the Eternal City. It’s is one of the top three most visited cities in the world, and home of many of the UN's special agencies like the Food and Agriculture Organization, and many others. It hosted the Olympics, and is perhaps the most important city for Roman Catholics all over the world, even more popular than Jerusalem. Truly, I would say without fear of contradiction that the grandeur is still here in Rome.

The Vatican (a nation within another nation) is the smallest independent state with a population of only about a thousand composed of the Pope, cardinals, priests, nuns, the famed Swiss guards, and a few non-religious workers serving religious leaders of the world's Catholic population in more than 200 countries. The Piazza San Pietro or Saint Peter's Square, the St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, and the interior of all the edifices, with magnificent masterpieces by famous sculptors led by Michelangelo, and the holy ambiance of the entire territory all prove my point that the glory is still very much present in The Vatican, the most precious jewel of Rome and the climax of the entire Italy.

The Flavian Amphitheater which is called more popularly as the Colosseum symbolized Rome's grandeur for many centuries. It was constructed by Vespasian in 72 AD, elliptical in shape, and measuring 188 by 156 meters and 57 meters tall. There are many imperial forums and the first was built in 113 BC. The Arch of Constantine is one of the most significant triumphal arches built in the 4 AD. Palatine Hill is believed to be the site where Romulus first established the city of Rome. There are still remnants of the ruined Imperial Palace built in the first century as well as the Hippodrome, the Domus Flavia and the Domus Augustana. The Church of Santa Maria de Aracoeli is the same spot where Sibyl foretold the coming of the son of God to Emperor Augustus.

The famous Triton Fountain, designed by Bernini in 1643, in the middle of the busy Piazza Barberini, consists of a merman blowing a conch and standing on an open oyster borne by four dolphins. But more popular is the Trevi Fountain found in the center of Piazza de Trevi, a beautiful plaza near the Via del Corso. There is the colossal statue of the god Oceanus. Then what invites our attention are many plazas and squares, which include the Piazza del Popolo, the Piazza di Spagna, the Piazza Navona, the Piazza del Quirinale, as well as the plaza in the small Tiberine Island. The hundreds of churches and cathedrals, museums, monasteries, and many smaller houses of worship make us wonder how great indeed is our God to have allowed all these fantastic creations of man made possible many centuries ago, sans the modern technology and equipment we have today.

I can stay here in Rome for weeks and even months, and still not be able to see all there is in this blessed city of Emperor Constantine and his mother Santa Elena. I can feel the grandeur of this great city and realize the omnipotence of God.

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